Monday morning, training with J. As fun as exercise gets for me, this morning was it. Dripping sweat, physically tired afterward, and wondering if I have ever worked that hard, today’s training was a reminder of how far I have come, how much lies ahead and into infinity.

Only a few months ago that I could not imagine being this pleased with a training session and my progression, or voluntarily working this hard. Yet here I am, doing sumo squats with a 35 lb. kettle bell and walking out of the gym with sweat-drenched clothes. With summer coming, I am foreseeing the need for a towel for my car seat. And I’m good with that thought.

What we did today:

A1 Miniband Sumo Squat
A2 Miniband Lateral Walks
͟A3 TRX Inverted Row
A4 Incline Pushup
A5 Double Band Reverse Fly
A6 Double Band Chest Fly
B1 DB Anterior Lunge
B2 Band Glute Kickback
B3 2-Band Lat Pulldown
B4 Band Straight Arm Pulldown
B5 Front Squat to Overhead Press

The much peppier pacing today made for a more intense workout, one I likely needed more than I recognized. While I have been going to the gym and doing my practice, I have felt sort of less into it than usual. It’s an obligation, an event on my calendar, something on my to-do list. I cannot cease exercise, but it was feeling a bit burdensome and weighty for me. I have felt disengaged this weekend.

Part of it is mental fatigue, I’m sure. Things at work are weighing me down, particular the mentoring with the troubled staffer. It felt as if it blew up in my face on Thursday and made me feel kind of terrible about myself as a professional. Which even thought I know it’s not my fault and not my problem or the result of some failing on my part, it was still troubling. M is sometimes less than helpful with work-related stuff; his own experiences have left deep scars on his psyche with a sort of inherent distrust of management, even when the management whose judgment is involved is his wife. I get it, and I know that while he trusts me to do the right thing and fairly and with a high degree of integrity, he is deeply suspicious of the system and the way businesses operate. The psychic disturbance that ripples through our relationship when I am troubled about a personnel-related matter is palatable. We can certainly withstand it, and while I do not expect unquestioning  and unconditional support from M on every work-related problem I bring up, his knee-jerk bias that the employee is always being screwed over is not always easy to swim upstream against.

Sometimes I do not realize how strongly affected I am by M’s powerful emotional reactions until I am processing it here or in other places. We are very different people, with different upbringings and family affiliations and legacies, and his religious training and value systems are much more ingrained than my own. The simplest description is that he’s very conservative and I am far more moderate. But we are a good team and our relationship weathers the push-pull we tend to subject it to. Times they are a-changing and M’s more hardened outlook about progress takes more time to soften and accept.

By Sunday and crossing paths with my sister in the J training tribe blew out some of my remaining almost apathy about practice. I did my sets yesterday, interacted with her, and felt so much more invigorated about exercise, about practice, about continuing to love what I love about the movement and tolerate what I love less.

I can also attribute my mild funk in part to the mega-dose of forward lunges from last Thursday’s session. Round 2 on Friday had one knee feeling sore into Friday and still a little achey on Saturday. I recognize that my brain is always searching for excuses to quit, even now, so I have my “listen to your body” senses set to partially ignore the whining. But not completely, because sometimes it does have a genuine complaint or point. So I switched gears Saturday and went to another workout that included forward lunges, but less of them. And while it was mostly better, having any sort of joint pain can be indicative of an overuse issue. Sunday I did something else that had no forward or reverse lunges, and the sideways ones did not seem so stressful.

Today it was sheer sweat-dripping work to get through the training session. And I’m happy about it, looking forward to going at it again tomorrow. It’s a mildly different “style” of training, although majority of the movements are familiar. The pace was faster and my focus had to be sharper. Through it all we still had time for conversation, which benefits me almost as much as the movement.

For a woman who really hates sweating, it’s kind of awesome to have sweat dripping onto the floor. I have even managed to squelch my impulse to feel embarrassed and request a mop to wipe it off the floor.

Walking out of the gym this morning, I had a smile on my face and 2 thoughts in my mind:  (1) I really love training days with J, and (2) this shit is FUN.

My oh my how times have changed.

On another training-related matter, I have now had my supremely judgmental HR monitor in service for about 10 days. This one is different in that it can be worn all day as an activity tracker and tells me interesting things about I have been doing all day. Or not. It prods me to get up off my ass move when I have been sitting at my desk for a period of time. It allows me to meet predefined daily activity goals, and there is usually a little happy vibe on my wrist sometime during my practices to let me know I have reached my daily goal. The rest of my day? I typically achieve another 70% to 80% of daily goal. Go me!

Cool, huh? Only for me, not so much.

As a gizmo, it’s handy. The watch part is excellent with it’s big giant display of the time on my wrist. If one loves being “minded” by an activity tracker, this this is super swell. But I’m not great about goals. The overachieving part seems cool yet I know it’s not really, because it just makes me feel as if I set the bar too low. Adjusting it upward is also tricky, in that if I falter and do not meet goal consistently I may feel poorly about the process.

This was a gift, though, one I most definitely appreciate and would likely enjoy so much more if I were not my particular brand of neurotic nut-ball. So I am trying harder to get over that part of my personality.

There is likely more to share, but my blogging time is short tonight due to other writing commitments. But honestly, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine walking from the gym feeling sweaty and gross yet happy and exciting to return and try the same routine tomorrow.

Now that’s progress.




2 thoughts on “Training #31 – Your wildest dreams

  1. Go ahead and add the towel to the car now. I just keep a stack by the door to the garage and grab one every couple of days – then bring a pile into wash! Nothing better than leaving the gym sweaty, a little out of breath and really feeling your body. Btw – your tracker would drive me nuts. 😉

    1. Good to know we’re on the same page with that! I have since resolved to ignore it, except when I am at the gym with the HR strap affixed and when I want to know what time it is. For that, it’s really great.

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